The Language of Fear in Media: A Case of COVID-19 Pandemic Outbreak in Five Compounds of Lusaka City, Zambia

Authors : Lufeyo Chitondo; Martin Mutabazi Mugisha

Volume/Issue : Volume 7 - 2022, Issue 2 - February

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One of the main role of media is to inform the public, to educate, to offer opportunities of expression to the oppressed ones, to entertain and many other positive things such as being used in resolving conflicts among communities, that is, when media is well used by media professionals but media does not only bring the positive to their audiences but can also affect them negatively asmedia can plant certain kind of feelings in the mind and heart of the audience and one of the ways that the media use to draw people’s attention is fear. Media take recourse to fear because they know that it works and helps in capturing people’s mind, hence draw in the audience. Thus, the purpose of the study was toexplore some of the indirect linguistic and non-linguistic techniques that media uses to increase and generate fear about the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The study employed a mixed paradigm and descriptive survey design that sampled five compounds in Lusaka (Woodlands, Kabulonga, Kalingalinga, Bauleni and Mandevu). Political party officials, Journalists, Community Health workers, teachers and members of the community were the respondents. Data was obtained from respondents by means of interviews, questionnaires and observation schedules. Frequency, percentages, tables, graphs and pie-charts were used to analyze the quantitative and qualitative data obtained. Data was then analyzed by the use of software MS Access and MS Excel. The findings revealed that media plants certain kind of feelings in the mind and heart of the audience and take recourse to fear by capturing people’s minds.

Keywords : Covid-19 pandemic, decision making, effects, fear, language.


Paper Submission Last Date
31 - March - 2024

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